Curious if others have had similar experiences, and hoping mine can spare someone confusion and frustration.
I’ve been using TR plans semi-consistently for about 8 months on a fluid trainer using virtual power (no power meter in the budget for me any time soon). After working my tail through training blocks, I kept seeing disappointing results on ftp tests. Modest gains and, in some cases, drops in ftp after very hard work. I felt super fit and strong on outdoor rides, so the situation baffled me, but I kept the faith and stayed consistent.
All this time I’ve been conscientious about chain lube and tire pressure, but I’ve been using an old road tire instead of a trainer tire. Well, recently I finally put a proper trainer tire on, and all of a sudden VO2 max felt like sweet spot, if that. I assessed, and my ftp jumped from about 235 to 300! Rolling resistance, man. About a 25% difference. Massive. Is it likely that the resistance was increasing throughout my training as my old tire wore out more and more? That would explain why my numbers were going backwards.
Of course it’s still just virtual power, so I don’t know what my REAL ftp is, but I’m choosing to believe it’s closer to this new one then the old one.
So yeah, trainer tire is worth it if you’re in a traditional trainer.